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Police face probe in Sh44m ivory saga

Wednesday December 30 2015

Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko at a past function. He has asked Coast region investigations head Henry Ondiek to establish the veracity of claims in which police tampered with the scene where 314 pieces of ivory were recovered in June. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko at a past function. He has asked Coast region investigations head Henry Ondiek to establish the veracity of claims in which police tampered with the scene where 314 pieces of ivory were recovered in June. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GALGALO BOCHA
By GALGALO BOCHA
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Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko has ordered for an inquest into allegations that police tampered with the scene at which 314 pieces of ivory were recovered in June.

He asked Coast region investigations head Henry Ondiek to establish the veracity of the claims and pledged to ensure the culprits faced the law.

Five Mombasa businessmen Mr Feisal Ali Mohamed, Mr Abdul Halim Sadiq, Ghalib Sadiq Kara, Praverz Noor Mohamed and Mr Abdulmajeed Ibrahim have been charged with possessing the ivory worth Sh44 million.

The ivory was seized at Fuji Motors East Africa Limited on Tom Mboya Avenue in Tudor Estate, Mombasa.

Mr Tobiko’s order comes in the backdrop of contradictory testimonies by police officers involved in the operation to seize the ivory.

In August, former Makupa OCS, Chief Inspector Peter Mbua, who led the operation, could not tell the court why he did not arrest a watchman guarding the premises and whom he had accused of blocking his team from entering the house.

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Mr Mbua also described two of the potential suspects as school boys and that it was unnecessary to arrest them.

Defence lawyers Jared Magolo, Pascal Nabwana, Michael Oloo, Moses Kurgat and Moses Mwakisha told the principal magistrate Davis Karani that the evidence of Mr Mbua was not truthful.

Administration Police Inspector Barre Gabow told the court that the school boys were indeed the third and fourth accused persons in the case.

On Tuesday, Mr Tobiko ordered for an open inquiry on the alleged tampering of the scene of crime and directed that the findings reach him by January 21.

In the letter signed by senior assistant director of public prosecutions Alexander Muteti, Mr Tobiko also directed Mr Ondiek to find out the status of vehicles and houses that had been preserved by the court.

The DPP said the case had taken long to be concluded and directed police to ensure witnesses were available when the case comes up for hearing from January 13.